A view of the enlarged three-day forecast track for Tropical Storm Bertha issued at 11 p.m. EDT July 31 by the National Hurricane Center. The storm was located about 275 miles east-southeast of Barbados.
Graphic by NHC
A view of the five-day forecast track for Tropical Storm Bertha issued at 11 p.m. EDT July 31 by the National Hurricane Center. The storm was located about 275 miles east-southeast of Barbados.
The National Hurricane Center reports that the second tropical storm of the 2014 Atlantic hurricane season formed Thursday night east of the Southern Lesser Antilles.
Tropical Storm Bertha was located about 275 miles east-southeast of Barbados at 11 p.m. Maximum sustained winds were 45 mph. Bertha was moving west-northwest at 20 mph.
A tropical storm warning is in effect for Barbados, Dominica and St. Lucia. A tropical storm watch is in effect for Puerto Rico, Vieques, Culebra, the U.S. Virgin Islands, St. Vincent and the Grenadines. The NHC said a tropical storm warning might be issued for Martinique Friday morning.
The NHC said Bertha is expected to continue moving west-northwest for the next two days and pass near Barbados Friday afternoon and move through the central Lesser Antilles Friday evening.
Latest reports from an Air Force Reserve reconnaissance aircraft showed maximum sustained winds at near 45 mph with higher gusts. Little change in strength is expected in the next two days.
The latest tracking maps show Bertha remaining at tropical storm strength as it moves east of Florida and up the U.S. east coast. If the tracking map holds true, Bertha will pose no threat to Tampa Bay.
Bertha is the third tropical system to form in July. Hurricane Arthur was the first hurricane of the season. It traveled up the U.S. east coast over the Independence Day weekend and made landfall on the Outer Banks of North Carolina July 4 as a Category 2 hurricane with wind gusts of more than 100 mph.
A short-lived second tropical depression formed July 21 about 1,205 miles east of the Lesser Antilles. Bertha formed July 31.
Hurricane season began June 1 and continues through Nov. 30.
Experts with the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration’s Climate Prediction Center releases an outlook May 22 predicting that this season would have near-normal or below-normal activity. The outlook gives a 50 percent chance of a below-normal season, a 40 percent chance of a near-normal season and a 10 percent chance of an above-normal season.
The outlook also calls for a 70 percent chance that eight to 13 names storms will form with three to six strengthening into a hurricane and one to two becoming major hurricanes. The average, from 1981 to 2010, is 12 named storms, six hurricanes and three major hurricanes.